Categotry Archives: Sewing

Heatwave Day 2


To distract from the heat and the fact that I have to order school uniforms for Kindergarten (eyes welling up, lump in throat) I will show you a child’s quilt I made. It is for a school mate of the boys who has had a great sadness this summer.

Fun and easy to make. Except the backing is giving me fits. There are a couple of things that are wrong with it, so I will need to un-quilt (rip-out) all the quilting I did. First, I did not baste nearly enough. Lesson learned. Second, the batting I used is awful, squeaky and you can see through the three layers. Not good, again Lesson Learned. In the interest of full disclosure I will show you the back, please don’t laugh directly at me-go around the corner first!

Rating System


Don’t we all love looking through pattern books, catalogs and of course the internet dreaming of projects to take on? Certainly, I spend far more time than is prudent partaking in this kind of dreamy state than I care to admit. Also included are cookbooks, garden design books and seed catalogs. Rowan long ago captured my heart. My first one, Number 12, was a revelation for me. I made 6 different pieces from my dear, dreamy Number 12. It is safely tucked away because I really would cry if something happened to it, and with the boys it is a strong possibility. Over the years, I have collected almost all of them. Sigh.

Now, I have begun to amass the Rowan/Kaffe quilting/patchwork books. I love them too, though the commentary takes away from the overall effect- reality intruding on my dreaming. I do prefer to let my mind drift and imagine things as opposed to having it all explained to me.

As with both sets of books, they rate the experience level a person should have to undertake a project. With the knitting books, this never really bothered me, I simply ignored it. But now as I spend more time sewing, I find I pay attention to the stated difficulty level more. This bothers me immensely on two fronts. First, it bothers me that I pay attention to them and hear myself thinking “Oh, that has THREE stars, I couldn’t make that”. It is maddening to me and I consider this a flaw in my character. Second, closely tied to the first, is why bother rating them at all? If you tell somebody that something is difficult, then it IS difficult. Why not let me have at it and see where I end up. Maybe I will learn something new. With the boys, I really try to limit my telling them something is difficult. I will absolutely tell them it is dangerous (which will not stop them), and shy away from saying something is difficult (which will stop them).

If they insist on a rating system, don’t you think they could come up with a more encouraging one? How much Joy will this bring you? How many generations of your family will get to enjoy your beautiful creation? How special will the recipient feel when they receive your gift? How much will you learn or better how much your confidence in your abilities will be boosted? That is the kind of rating system I am interested in.

And this little baby, is a ten out of ten on the How much Joy will it bring you scale. I am smitten.



Precision is not my forte. I would like to think it is my forte but, truly it is not. Craig, the Hubbalicious, however IS precision personified. If there are two different routes to a location, he will drive them each, time them and factor in the variables and always take the shorter of the two. Craig has a mathematical brain, whilst I have more of an artist brain. I rarely cook with a recipe, though I am having quite the Nigella moment over here. (I am of the opinion that Nigella is the Ann & Kay of the food world.)

When Craig and I were engaged, I was making scones one morning. As I chopped the nuts (which I had not measured),

Craig: “Um Honey, what are you doing?”

Me: “Adding hazelnuts.”

Craig:”You can’t add those!”

Me:”Why not?”

Craig: “They are not in the recipe!”

You get my point. So, many months ago I made a sample block with some fabric I had bought to make Angus a quilt. Over the long weekend, I picked the fabrics and cut roughly 596 pieces to make Angus a Barn Raising Log Cabin Quilt. I used my trusty Log Cabin Ruler. I will confess I had the niggling little thought- “Do I really want to cut these out all at once?” I cut, piled and got the cutting done. Then next day, I began to make the blocks. The were off. Worse, every time I added a new piece of fabric, it got worse. Each piece became consecutively longer and more off. I tried this about 5 times, with 5 different blocks. I was in deep despair.

What is a gal to do? Call in the Big Guns, that’s what. I grabbed the instructions, a quilting ruler and my beautiful but off block. Knock, knock, knock, Honey I really need your help. Craig, bless him, measured, figured, calculated, measured some more and then delivered the Bad News. 16ths, 8ths, some unconventional *cough* cutting methods and seam allowance had all conspired- it was hopeless. With the fabric I had cut, I couldn’t make the Log Cabin idea work. After I stopped being so upset and aggravated with myself, I decided to make Lemonade from Lemons as it were. I will sew all the strips together (I have a light and a dark for each length) and make something beautiful for my boy. Sigh. Yet again Precision kicks me in the rear.